“Chink in the armor” is a non-racial idiom, not a single word, denoting:
A vulnerable area, as in Putting things off to the last minute is the chink in Pat’s armor and is bound to get her in trouble one day . This term relies on chink in the sense of “a crack or gap,” a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.
The term “chink in the armor” is used frequently in sports analogies, as this 2005-2010 Google search indicates.
“Chink” standing alone also is a slang pejorative for someone of Chinese or more generally of Asian descent.
In discussing Jeremy Lin’s playing vulnerabilities, an on-air ESPN announcer used the phrase “chink in armor” and it was repeated in an ESPN web headline early the next morning.
The announcer has been suspended and the headline writer fired because the idiom was deemed offensive:
The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake.
“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News….
Battling to contain a furor, the sports network fired Federico and suspended anchor Max Bretos for 30 days because it turned out he had used the same expression on the air last week. ESPN offered profuse mea culpas and promised to be “better in the future.”
Federico, 28, said he understands why he was axed. “ESPN did what they had to do,” he said.
He said he has used the phrase “at least 100 times” in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story….
Bretos, too, said he didn’t think of the slur Wednesday when he asked Knicks legend Walt (Clyde) Frazier about Lin on the air.
“If there is a chink in the armor, where can he improve his game?” Bretos asked….
“My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community,” Bretos wrote. “Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context.”
If there were some evidence of a deliberate attempt to use a slur, that would be one thing, but there is none here from what has been revealed.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.